Organic Land Care Certificate Program

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Organic Land Care Certificate Program provides education to landscapers and land care providers on organic practices for promoting healthy soil, enhancing biodiversity, and reducing polluted runoff from managed landscapes.

The core of the program is a 4-day course designed for professional landscapers, property managers, public works employees, groundskeepers, and landscape architects.

More than 20 university and industry experts teach the course and share their experience of how to successfully transition a landscape to organic management and add organic services to a business.

Registration Is Open for the 2017 Organic Land Care Certificate Course

January 23, 24, 30, 31, 2017

Course Dates: January 23, 24, 30, 31 (Snow date: Feb. 1)

Time: 8am – 5pm

Location: 4000 Kozloski Rd., Freehold, New Jersey 07728 (Use 3000 Kozloski Rd for GPS)

Certificate program requirements include:

  • Attendance at the 4-day training course
  • Passing an optional exam based on course content.

Participants that pass the exam receive a certificate of completion and are listed on this website as having completed the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Organic Land Care Certificate program requirements.


The 2017 course offers:

Pesticide recertification credits:

  • New Jersey: Core: 4 units; 3A: 12 units; 3B: 4 units; 13: 4 units.
  • New York: Call Michele at 732-398-5274 for information.
  • Pennsylvania: Call Michele at 732-398-5274 for information.

As well as:

  • Fertilizer re-certification credits for New Jersey: 7 credits.
  • The NJDEP Natural Turf and Landscape Management Certificate.
  • NOFA AOLCP credits applied for. Call for details.


Registration Fee: Includes program, optional exam, and listing of business on Rutgers website. Breakfast and lunch to be provided.

  • Early registration: postmarked by 12/31/16: $475
  • Postmarked after 12/31/16: $500
  • Optional printed materials fee: $50. Otherwise materials will be distributed electronically via flashdrive. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop.

Make payments out to "Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey". Checks, purchase orders, or money orders only. Credit cards not accepted.

Mail payment to:

Amy Rowe
Cooperative Extension of Passaic County
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
1310 Route 23 North
Wayne, NJ 07470

Detailed Schedule and Speakers

Monday, January 23

  • Organic Principles- History and Philosophy: Joseph Heckman, Extension Specialist in Soil Fertility, Rutgers
  • Pesticide Risk, Toxicity and Environmental Contamination: Roy Meyer, Former Bureau Chief, NJDEP
  • Landscaping with Edible Plants: Joseph Heckman, Extension Specialist in Soil Fertility, Rutgers
  • Physical, Chemical, Biological Aspects of Soil: Dan Kluchinski, Agricultural Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension
  • Soil Food Web: Jennifer Adams Krumins, Associate Professor, Montclair State University

Tuesday, January 24

  • Managing Abiotic Problems in the Landscape: Nick Polanin, Agricultural Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension
  • Sustainable Landscape Design: Jan-Marie Traynor, Professor Emeritus, County College of Morris
  • Compost and Compost Tea: Michael Kolenut, President, Lincoln Landscaping
  • Incorporating Native Plants and Lawn Alternatives: Rick McCoy, President, McCoy Horticultural Services
  • Tree and Shrub Planting and Plant Care: Larry Kuser, Owner, Fernbrook Farms

Monday, January 30

  • Lawn Installation, Fertilization, and Management: James Murphy, Extension Specialist in Turf Grass Management, and Brad Park, Sports Turf Research & Education Coordinator, Rutgers University
  • Disease Management, Trees, and Shrubs: Charles Schmitt, Former Extension Educator, Cornell University
  • Key Insect/Mite Pests of Landscape Trees & Shrubs: Steve Rettke, Ornamental IPM Program Associate, Rutgers

Tuesday, January 31

  • Rain Gardens: Amy Rowe, Environmental Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension
  • Business Management and Customer Communications: Chris Paul, President, Genesis Landscape Contractors
  • Organic Landscapers Panel Discussion: Barry Draycott, Tech Terra Environmental; Keith Haitz, HydroGreen; Rick McCoy, and Chris Paul
  • Exam, pesticide recertification form distribution, program evaluation

For more information about this program contact Michele Bakacs, County Environmental Agent, at or 732-398-5274.

Photo: teaching organic land care

  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences